Picture it. 1988. A lanky Greek man-boy clad in Docksiders and Calvin Klein jeans tooling around L.A. in his Nissan Sentra. He hears “Real Love” by Jody Watley for the very first time. He stops the car. Cranks the radio. Gets out. And dances his behind off.
Thus began my enduring relationship with Miss Watley. Initially it was one-sided. But over 10 years later, our paths finally crossed when she came into Decades to consign some covetable Azzedine Alaia pieces. I broke my golden retail rule: never talk to celebs about anything outside of the business transaction. How could I not?
We became fast and close friends — bonding over a shared obsession with fashion and music. I've traveled with Jody to gigs in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Vienna. She, in turn, became a sartorial conspirator at Decades.
I’m not the first to be inspired by J.W. Did you know that Jody was Jean Paul Gaultier’s first muse? Or that David Fincher directed her in a video before Madonna picked up on his brilliance? Or that she is quite possibly one of the most stylish ladies in the stratosphere?
Well, now you do.
Christos: How would you describe your personal style?
Jody: Inspired by golden-era Hollywood fused with ’70s glam with my own signature Jody Watley edge.
Christos: Who are your style icons?
Jody: Kate Moss has great individual style that you can tell isn't the product of a stylist. Rachel Zoe has great effortless style. Growing up it was Diana Ross, my mom, Sophia Loren, Bianca Jagger, and many of the Hollywood actresses of the golden cinema era. And in junior high I was influenced by models Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson.
Christos: Who are your go-to designers?
Jody: I love Lanvin, YSL, Dolce, Balenicaga, Helmut Lang for drapey t-shirts, and Diane von Furstenberg. I'm also a believer in custom-made clothing inspired by designer pieces. I also still love good one-of-a kind vintage finds. I've been big on vintage since I was a teenager.
Christos: Have you ever sold me anything you later regretted letting go?
Jody: Yes! The slim extra long rare Chanel clutch — it’s such a statement bag and I've never seen another one.
Christos: What's the one piece of fashion in your closet you will never sell me — even if I beg on my hands and knees?
Jody: My vintage black Yohji Yamamoto coatdress. Forget it!
Christos: What was the first designer handbag you ever bought for yourself? Do you still have it?
Jody: A Fendi shoulder-strap bag. I lost it when I was robbed at gunpoint. Which put me off carrying designer bags for a long time.
Christos: What fashion finds are on your permanent wish list?
Jody: A certain Yves Saint Laurent draped dress I saw at Decades! Vintage Halston. Hysteric Glamour t-shirts and bags — and Vivienne Westwood for standout pieces. And, of course, Gaultier!
Christos: What's your criteria for deciding to consign a piece?
Jody: If it's just collecting dust and my daughter isn't interested in it… and I know I'll never fit into it again. Ha!
Christos: What’s your fashion mantra?
Jody: Don’t worry about labels. And wear the fashion — don't let it wear you. Let your inner charisma shine!
Go to shopdecadesinc.com for our specially curated section of Gaultier